Kele fleming, Senior Manager, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, UBC and Vice-Chair of the ETUG steering committee recently go together for a chat with Judy Chan, this month’s featured ETUG member.
Tell us a bit about where you work & what you do.
I work at the University of British Columbia. I have two roles there. I work full-time at the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) as an Educational Developer where I work with faculty members to help them find ways to enhance student learning. I sometimes call myself a ‘teaching techniques’ junkie. So I help them to determine when it’s best to use snowball techniques or problem-based learning.
Between January and April, I also teach a second-year course on introductory food science. I really enjoy teaching. I learn a lot when students ask me questions I don’t know. I enjoy finding the answer for the students. My role as an educational developer certainly influences my teaching. I am exposed to new ideas in my work in CTLT all the time and I am constantly thinking about how I can apply them in my classroom. Sometimes I can make very small changes and apply them right away, but other times I need time to really think them through before making any changes.
How long have you been involved in teaching and learning and ed technology?
This is a very hard question.
I started learning the day I was born! I started teaching unofficially when I learned how to boss my little sister around. Officially, I remember serving as a peer reading buddy when I was in elementary school.
Oh, do you mean T&L in higher ed? Okay, I started TA-ing when I was a graduate student in 1998. I worked part-time as a graduate academic assistant at the teaching center beginning in 2004. And, thenI became a full-time staff member in 2010. In my job, I’m always bombarded with new technology ideas, just like the teaching ideas that come my way. I am enthusiastic but cautious though when I introduce something in my teaching. This applies to technology too…I need to see examples, and I need to evaluate whether a particular approach will work for my teaching.
What’s one thing you really love about the work you do?
As an instructor, I simply love teaching. I love sharing my knowledge on food chemistry and helping students understand the chemical differences between ice-cream and gelato. (Editorial note – Yum! Judy just informed me that “yum!” is a sensory difference not a chemical difference.)
As an educational developer, I love sharing what I know about teaching. I am inspired by the latest and usually brightest trends in education and disseminating the information to the teaching community.
Another story about what gets me excited about the intersection between teaching, learning and technology…I first heard about open education a long time ago, but it really caught my attention in 2009 at the Canadian eLearning Conference. After lots of thinking and exploring, finally, in 2011 I finally took the steps to plan to implement an open approach in my course. I have opened up my course and have provided all my course notes on the UBCWiki (wiki.ubc.ca). This year, I’ve asked my students to also contribute content to the course by developing their course projects on the wiki. This is a course that is offered at different times throughout the year by a group of instructors and they are all contributing to it now. The great thing is that we have a common platform for our course content now.
Also, now that I have all my course material on the wiki, I don’t have to worry about powerpoints. This year I’m teaching directly from the wiki using an iPad. In the classroom, I’m using the app called 2 Screens which allows me to make annotations directly on my wiki while I’m in class. I still use the blackboard and chalk quite a lot – the original classroom learning technology!
I also get to meet so many great people on campus. UBC is a very inspiring place to work and teach.
How long have you been a member of ETUG?
Since 2011 June.
What do you like best about this community and its activities?
I love the collegial environment. I love seeing how members know each other and care about each other’s work. There is a lot of support and sharing among members as evidenced on the ETUG.ca site. I could also feel the energy at the last two ETUG workshops I attended.
Do you have a favorite ETUG memory?
Watching Canucks in Nelson last June and we won (that game)!
What would you like ETUG to provide more of in terms of benefits/value to members? Any input or help you want to ask members to provide?
(Editorial note: Judy posed this question back to me, and asked what she can do to contribute to the ETUG community. She is keen and ready to contribute & looking for more ways to engage with her peers in this community!)
Do you have any special interests/hobbies?
I play pretend with my 4-year-old and 2-year-old. My 4-year-old asks us to play with her and, somehow, she always manages to assume the role of the teacher. I like this because it makes me reflect a lot on teaching and learning…
Oh really, between working full-time, teaching a course, playing with two kids and browsing the ETUG website, I have given up interests and hobbies outside of my passion for teaching and learning over the last couple years 🙂